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Heavy rain and brisk winds leaving SA

Brett Dutschke, Saturday February 6, 2021 - 15:33 AEDT

A winter-like weather system had impacted South Australia for about 48 hours but is moving away from the state, allowing heavy rain to mostly clear and brisk winds to ease.

The weather system (an intense low) had formed just to the south of the state last Thursday and sent bursts of heavy rain and storms then strong winds across southern districts through to Saturday. This caused flash flooding and brought trees down, leading to power outages.

Image: Wind streamlines for Friday 5th Feb 10:30am CDT, according to ECMWF model.

For many places as much as two-to-three times the monthly average rain fell, amounting to 40-to-60 millimetres in parts of the Adelaide Hills, South East and Kangaroo Island and 20-to-40mm in most other southern districts.

It was the biggest rain in four years for Robe (40mm), three years for Parndana (59mm), two years for Naracoorte (33mm) and about 12 months for Padthaway (47mm), Keith (32mm), Cape Jaffa (31mm) and Kingscote (43mm).

Much of this rain fell in advance of the big winds which were the strongest recorded in several months in some areas, gusting to 70-80km/h across a large area. They were the strongest in 18 months for both Adelaide Airport (80km/h) and Neptune Island (115km/h), eight months for Mt Lofty (70km/h), five months for Cape Willoughby (100km/h), four months for Snowtown (80km/h), three months for Moonta (83km/h) and two months for many other centres. Adelaide gained 24mm which is only a 10-day high.

Now that the offending low pressure system has moved away, brisk winds are easing and lighter showers are becoming confined to the coasts. As a high crosses the Bight during the next few days winds will turn from gusty southerly to warmer easterly then northerly, bringing an end to the unseasonable cool spell.

Adelaide is on target for its coolest February spell in seven years, staying below 23 degrees for three consecutive days. If the city does stay below the forecast 23 degrees on Sunday it will also become the coolest, wettest spell for this time of year since 1972.



- Weatherzone

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